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Research Could Lead To Safer Roads

Research by Transport Engineering Research New Zealand Ltd into driver behavior, road design and the effects of road transport on communities has come up with a set of recommendations that if fully implemented, could lead to at least 50 fewer deaths on our roads a year and transport savings of more than $200 million.

That’s the view of Peter Baas, the managing director of Transport Engineering Research New Zealand Ltd, who says the research was based on finding out how different groups of drivers behaved, how they perceived risk, how driving ability and attitudes differed, and how traffic affected town residents.

He says, this includes, for example, research into the effects of transport noise, and how people get in and out of driveways safely on busy arterial routes.

The research is funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and involved working with councils on developing safer roads that are less disturbing to people, Mr Baas says. “We are also working with Transfund and the road controlling authorities on improving overtaking lane design, road signs, markings and pavement performance.”

The research also aims to improve the lifespan of roads and reduce road costs through computer modeling of vehicle dynamics and road surfaces, and seeks to improve truck stability. New Zealand has a high rate of truck roll-overs because roads here are generally narrower, mainly two-lane, and have more curves.


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